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Old 12-02-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
Grim_Ale
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Default Noobs Question on Steeping

I everyone, hope everyone had a great weekend.

I just received two new extract kits for full boil.

Both have steeping grains which I have little experience with. My issue is I've read two different instructions on these.

One set says put grains in bag and put in kettle until temp reaches 170 f then remove.

The other set says the same except it says it should take 30 mins to reach 170 then remove. If temp reaches 170 before 30 mins then keep grains at 170 until 30 mins is reached.

So which is it?

Also, do you just remove the grain bag as is or do you take your spoon and press it against the kettle to get excess water and such back into the pot before you remove it?

Thanks for any and all help.

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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A good way is to keep the steeping bag in water (2 qts of water/pound of grain) for 30 minutes at 160-170 F .

NEVER press the bag after steeping , if you're using dark grains as steeping grains . Otherwise , you'll get lots of Tannins which make your Beer Astringent and harsh .

Hector

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:15 PM   #3
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Getting up to 170 is too high IMO. I heat my water up to 155-160, then steep for a half hour, and I do press to get some excess water out.

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlapjackAM
Getting up to 170 is too high IMO. I heat my water up to 155-160, then steep for a half hour, and I do press to get some excess water out.
Edit: I'm pretty sure you're safe from tannins as used to be thought a problem, but others can chime in on that. Oops. Or quote myself.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:18 PM   #5
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What I usually do for steeping grains is warm up about 2 gallons of water to 165F, then add the grain bag which can drop the temp to around 155-160F and I'll keep the temp in that range and let the grains steep for about 30 mins. Towards the end of the 30 minutes I'll warm another gallon of water up to about 175F (about last 10 minutes of the steep). Once the 30 minutes is up I'll lift the bag up, place it in a strainer, let it drain, and then pour the 170-175F water over it real quick to give it a quick rinse; I don't squeeze it just let it run off on its own (believe I read if you squeeze it you could end up extract tannins which can be bad). Then add the rest of my boil water and start bringing it up to a boil. While it is heading towards boiling I'll then add the extract that I'm going to be using for the full boil time; which is around 1/3rd of the total extract bill the rest I'll add either last 10 minutes or flameout (DME is usually last 10 min before adding immersion chiller and LME at flameout since won't need to fight the chiller as much to get it mixed in).

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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For me, I bring the water in my boiling pot to 160 degrees.
Then put the grains in a grain bag an put into the pot, make sure they get good an wet by mixing a bit with long spoon.
Then let soak for 30 minutes. I put the lid on and a blanket around the pot to hold temp.
After 30 mins take off blanket, stir the grain again, then lift the grain bag out and let drain partly, dip again, drain about 4-5 times.
Then take out and drain completely. Add LME and first hops and boil on scheduled.

Always tastes good!

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Your goal is to get the good sugars locked inside the grain out, and water at the right temp will do just that.

I don't think either set of instructions that you have read are the best. I would take the bag, steep them in water at 150F for 40 minutes, and then after that slowly raise the temperature to 168F. After that, squeeze the bag of grain, or pour some hot water over them to get the rest of the maltose goodness out of there.

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Old 12-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slow_boat View Post
Your goal is to get the good sugars locked inside the grain out, and water at the right temp will do just that.

I don't think either set of instructions that you have read are the best. I would take the bag, steep them in water at 150F for 40 minutes, and then after that slowly raise the temperature to 168F. After that, squeeze the bag of grain, or pour some hot water over them to get the rest of the maltose goodness out of there.
If your steeping grains its mostly for color and a bit of flavor from the darker grains, mashing is for sugars. Most grains you would steep like crystal or dark malts in the amounts your steeping them(maybe 1-2#) will maybe change your gravity by .001-.002.

Almost all of your sugar should be coming from your extract.

What your explaining is more a partial mash.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:24 PM   #9
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They are just steeping grains that came with a Pliny the Elder clone from MB.

I have 9 lbs of liquid malt extract and a TON of hops that came with this.

My main concern was determining how much water loss would occur from the grains absorbing them but I guess I could always add more water.

The other concern with this was making sure I got the most out of the grains which is why I asked about pushing the bag against the pot to get extra out of it but I guess that's unnecessary and could be a detriment.

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Old 12-02-2013, 11:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim_Ale View Post
They are just steeping grains that came with a Pliny the Elder clone from MB.

I have 9 lbs of liquid malt extract and a TON of hops that came with this.

My main concern was determining how much water loss would occur from the grains absorbing them but I guess I could always add more water.

The other concern with this was making sure I got the most out of the grains which is why I asked about pushing the bag against the pot to get extra out of it but I guess that's unnecessary and could be a detriment.
The temperature at which you steep your grains is pretty flexible. You are merely rinsing of the sugars that have been converted in the process of making that type of malt and extracting the color. Your temperature could be anywhere from about 100 degrees up to boiling. You cannot extract tannins by pressing or squeezing the bag of grains. That takes a temperature of over 170 at the same time that the pH goes over 6.0 so you shouldn't have to worry about that at all.

The best practice is to steep the grains in water that is 150 to 155. Not becuase it extracts best there but that is the range that you will be mashing if you decide to go to all grain and you'll already know how to get the water to the proper temp.

If your kit really does have a ton of hops, share them! All the recipes I've seen call for hops to be measured in ounces.
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